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Author Topic: Best Friend tested positive - advice on how to help him?  (Read 4022 times)

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Offline 123kml

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Best Friend tested positive - advice on how to help him?
« on: January 31, 2009, 02:55:11 am »
My best friend tested positive this week and I am worried for him. He lives across the country and kind of is a shy guy. Before his decision to get tested, during and after the test I was in contact with him and he sobbed for a long time after the positive result. Over the past few days I have checked in with him breifly and he seems very, very sad. I noticed too that he is no longer on-line like he used to be and he is avoiding calls, and generally seems very depressed. I know it's only been a few days. But I am worried for him.

I work with people with AIDS in my daily job. This job isn't really helping me help my friend. How can I support my friend?  I know he needs to go to a doctor for HIV labs and sounds like he needs meds soon (he had an infection before the HIV test ) but he is not at that point with himself. I know he needs time but as a friend I feel responsible for informing him, supporting him and reaching out...but given the nature of where I am coming from I don't want to be "pushy" and push him away. Any advice?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 03:03:56 am by 123kml »

Offline komnaes

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Re: Best Friend tested positive - advice on how to help him?
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2009, 04:27:40 am »
It doesn't sound like you can do much my friend. Many of us at the initial stage of diagnosis needed the time to deal with the shock and in my case I did go into hiding a bit for a few weeks. Actually I haven't met anyone who were not "depressed" during the first couples of weeks. While you don't wanna appear "pushy", perhaps you can just send him a daily SMS to make sure that you're there and ready to talk when he feels like. In that case he still has the space but is assured that you're ready when he's.

Unless you feel that there is an immediate concern of intervention, you do need to relax a bit too. When he's started to communicate then you can start working with him on finding local support groups, etc.

Wish you and your friend the best, Shaun
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Best Friend tested positive - advice on how to help him?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2009, 05:24:52 pm »
It's good for him to know that you're still there for him. Since he may not feel like talking on the phone right now, an e mail just saying that wouldn't hurt. And an old fashioned simple card via snail mail wouldn't hurt either. Just something that says that you're thinking about him and how much his friendship means to you.

There's a fine line to be maintained between expressing interest and concern (good) and hovering (not good).  And make sure that your conversation with him is not always about his diagnosis and HIV.
You can also ask him if there is anything you can do to be helpful. An occasional question can be a good way of getting him to talk. And remember, this is still very, very new for him and he needs time to get adjusted to having HIV in his life.

You maybe feeling anxious too. With regard to that, keep in mind that as long as he has a doctor who's monitoring his health your friend is not going to suddenly fall through a black hole.

Keep us posted on how it's going.

Andy Velez

Offline 123kml

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  • Posts: 2
Re: Best Friend tested positive - advice on how to help him?
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2009, 07:05:56 pm »
Thanks for the advice. It's helpful to hear and I am taking what you both say very much to heart. Thanks again.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Best Friend tested positive - advice on how to help him?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2009, 11:45:05 am »
What a friend you are.

I agree with Andy's suggestion to send an e-mail. May I suggest in that e-mail you include the site address for AIDSmeds unless he's already aware of it. In those first few weeks and months, I wish I'd known of the site. 

He'll come around. That first punch to the gut is a doozy. Takes a wobbly while to get back up.


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